Starting a shoe brand can be extremely lucrative. If you get it right, you can build a niche product that thousands of people all over the world want.
We’ve seen numerous examples of entrepreneurs making a success of it over recent years, including the likes of Vibram. But there are still niches to be filled and ideas to explore.
In this post, we take a look at how to set up a shoe brand in a series of simple steps. Check them out below:
Step 1: Name Your Brand
The first step is to come up with a name and concept for your brand. Don’t pick anything that’s hard to spell or doesn’t roll off the tongue easily. Instead, think about the type of wording that might appeal to your target audience. Ask yourself: what type of first impression do I want to create?
You’ll also want to come up with a concept. For instance, you might have a concept like:
- Shoes for women who enjoy mountain running
- Shoes for men to wear while fishing
Picking a narrow niche like this can really help you target your market.
Step 2: Raise Money
The next step is to raise the money you need. Try to work out exactly how much you will require to get the brand off the ground as this will help convince VCs to plow money into your firm.
Step 3: Design The Shoes
To do this, you’ll need to work with professional designers, unless you have the skills yourself. Be warned, though: the number of freelance shoe designers is incredibly small. You’re much better off using your budget to hire someone.
Step 4: Write Your Business Plan
Create an executive summary of all the market opportunities before you, your aims and objectives, and a competitive analysis. Figure out what’s already out there and then use this to put your business’s mission into more concrete language.
Step 5: Build The Shoes
Most entrepreneurs work with a factory partner to build shoes for their line (at least for the first couple of runs). You’ll need to regularly audit production and make sure that you arrange with partners to supply all the raw materials, such as customized foam and insoles.
Step 6: Pay Yourself
Some business owners get into the habit of paying themselves nothing from their enterprises, but this is a bad idea. While you are running your business, you still need to make sure that you have a good quality of life. Otherwise, it will be hard for you to maintain the momentum that you need to get to where you want to go.
Paying yourself a salary similar to whatever wage you were on before is ideal. If you can’t afford that, pay yourself a decent salary that lets you get by, pay your bills, and eat well.
Step 7: Price Your Shoes
Lastly, before you send your shoes to market, you’ll want to price them competitively. Under-pricing is a bad idea because it makes customers skeptical about the quality you offer while over-pricing makes it harder to achieve minimum volumes.